An Old Man Walks Into a Batting Cage

The following took place on my 40th birthday…

A 40 year old man sidles up to a batting cage counter.

“Slow pitch?”, says the late teens, early twenty something lad on the other side.

“Fast pitch, please.”, I reply, not quite taking offense.

“We don’t have fast pitch softball here.”

Now I was offended.

“Baseball, please.”

He didn’t seem to understand.

I added, “A bucket of 50 balls.”

“We don’t have that option anymore.”

“Then what are your rates?”, my Peter Pan complex generally keeps me from feeling old but I was this close to calling this kid a whipper snapper.

He pointed to the sign on the counter. Direct customer service at its finest. I suppose I would have seen the sign before asking the question if I wasn’t such an old man.

$15 for 15 minutes.

The 30 minute rate was unreasonable. So was the idea of me swinging a 34 ounce bat for a rhythmic half hour.

“Ok, I’ll take the 15.”, and I paid the man (?). My change would not be going towards the dusty, yet more prominently featured than the rates ‘TIPS WELCOMED’ sign.

“How fast?”, the kid asked.

Was that a smirk?

Boy, would I love to show him I could hit 80 mph dimpled, rubber balls with an aluminum bat.

“65, please. Thank you.”, I said with some resignation.

And so my training for Fantasy Camp had begun at the end of October 2014.

By The Improviser's Guide

The Improviser's Guide Network was created by Frank Cardillo, a Queens, NY based Creator & Producer. Frank has appeared throughout New York City performing improvisation and standup comedy, including performances at Super Bowl XLVIII, Turning Stone Casino, Gotham Comedy Club, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and for 15 years off the shores of Lake Ontario at the Sterling Renaissance Festival as their emcee, Lenny Burrows. Most recently, Frank was part of the cast for the New York City premiere of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit, Overheard at Joe's (formerly Joe's NYC Bar). Since 2009, Frank has been the Founder and Producing Director of the 'Raft of Comic Knockouts' known as [By The Mummers]. Known for their 'unpredictable, coming out-of-nowhere humor' (Backstage), their musical 'BLOOD' was a Next Link Selection of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and was named 'Best of the Fest' by Davenport Theatricals. [By The Mummers] are the reigning, defending Champions of the Down Under Improv Festival. Besides serving as a member of the writing team for several original [By The Mummers] events, Frank has had public stagings of two original modern Commedia dell'Arte performances and has devised several structured scenarios for productions in New York City and across the state. In September 2015, [By The Mummers] held a public staged reading of Frank's historical, satirical, farce, 'The Double Play' at Foley's, Home to the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. In June 2016, Frank debuted 'The Improviser's Guide to Being a Better Birth Partner' onstage Off Off Broadway. He has performed this one man piece in New York City on multiple occasions with a book in the works. Following years as an adjunct faculty member at Stony Brook University, Frank has applied his improvisation experience in training employees at Macy's Herald Square, Carnegie Hall, & the Sterling Renaissance Festival. Frank has been the recipient of the Impresario Award for supporting New Play Development, as well as a Rollie Award winner for his service to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2008, he received the Spirit of Christmas Award.

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